By Sarah Glaven, Principal Assistant Director for Biotechnology and Biomanufacturing, Industrial Innovation, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy

Biotechnology harnesses the power of biology to create new services and products, which provide opportunities to grow the U.S. economy and workforce and improve the quality of our lives and the environment. This week, the Biden-Harris Administration took an important step toward realizing the potential of biotechnology for the U.S. economy by launching the National Bioeconomy Board. The Board will work with partners across the public and private sectors to advance societal well-being, national security, sustainability, economic productivity, and competitiveness through biotechnology and biomanufacturing.

The Board is part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, which is making historic investments through the Inflation Reduction Act, Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and CHIPS and Science Act. These investments are the foundation of a modern American industrial strategy that leverages critical technologies to revitalize U.S. manufacturing, bolster national security, and build a sustainable economy for all Americans. The strategy is catalyzing investment in the bioeconomy: since the start of the Biden-Harris Administration, private companies have announced over $20 billion in biomanufacturing investments.

The economic impact of biotechnology and biomanufacturing is poised to expand at a rapid pace over the next two decades, adding thousands of good-paying jobs across many sectors of the economy. Since President Biden issued an executive order to advance biotechnology and biomanufacturing in 2022, the Biden-Harris Administration has been working to make this vision a reality through the President’s Investing in America actions.

The National Bioeconomy Board is co-chaired by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), the Department of Commerce (DOC), and the Department of Defense. The Board also includes representatives from nine additional federal departments and agencies: The State Department, National Science Foundation, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Health and Human Services, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Department of Justice, Department of Energy, Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. Board members represent the variety of biotechnology and biomanufacturing stakeholders across the federal government, including departments and agencies that promote economic development, sponsor fundamental research, facilitate technology commercialization, focus on safety and security, and engage in workforce training.

The Board’s actions will complement the ongoing implementation of the Bioeconomy executive order, which has included the following actions so far:  

  • In December 2022, the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology published a report on Biomanufacturing to Advance the Bioeconomy.
  • Also in December 2022, DOC’s National Institute of Standards and Technology released a lexicon to help support measurements and risk assessments of the bioeconomy.
  • In March 2023, OSTP published the Bold Goals for U.S. Biotechnology and Biomanufacturing. This report outlines a vision for what is possible with the power of biotechnology and biomanufacturing, as well as the research and development needed to achieve this vision. At the same time, the DOC’s Bureau of Economic Analysis released a report on assessing the economic value of the U.S. bioeconomy, including what is needed to make better and more accurate measurements.
  • Also in March 2023, the Environmental Protection Agency and USDA released a report on stakeholder outreach related to ambiguities, gaps, and uncertainties in regulation of biotechnology. USDA released an accompanying report in November 2023, describing the Coordinated Framework for the Regulation of Biotechnology using plain language.
  • In June 2023, the Biden-Harris Administration announced the release of an action plan to rapidly and equitably expand biotechnology and biomanufacturing education and job training programs in the United States.
  • In December 2023, the Interagency Working Group on Data for the Bioeconomy published a report on the Vision, Needs, and Proposed Actions for Data for the Bioeconomy Initiative. The Data for the Bioeconomy Initiative (Data Initiative) will ensure that high-quality, wide-ranging, easily accessible, and secure biological data sets can drive breakthroughs for the U.S. bioeconomy. 
  • In March 2024, USDA published a report on Building a Resilient Biomass Supply. The report outlines a plan to boost the biomass supply chain for domestic biobased product manufacturing and market opportunities for small and mid-sized producers, providing job opportunities to rural communities and making progress toward U.S. sustainability goals. The report was accompanied by an implementation framework and fact sheet outlining USDA’s accomplishments and investment so far.

The National Bioeconomy Board will continue to lead the actions required to achieve a sustainable, safe, and secure American bioeconomy.


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